Saturday, April 30, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 01May2016 : my Heart is in VIII The Balance and the Sword (Justice) while the Feather of Truth has whisked off to fan the brow of the hanging man, XII The Victim. (Today’s deck is the *Ibis Tarot* by Josef Machynka. This is one of my very favorite decks, as I find it ALWAYS comes through clearly, profits from Egyptian theming, and in general is a fine working deck. A workhorse, which I greatly appreciate in a world filled with diva decks that take pampering, high salaries & imported chocolates to coax to sing even one note. All you deck creators out there – please don’t forget functionality when you design those Technicolor wonders, okay?) (And on a personal note, please avoid “mutant-eyed precious moppets” and designing for “the little child that lives inside us all” – I killed the leech-child, and the moppet trope is pedophilic.) As my Heart card today, I have received VIII, The Sword & The Balance, aka Justice. First of all, I must jump over my inner prejudice, because I believe this card should be Strength, with Justice placed at XI. I have my own reasons for preferring that schema, not the least of which is plain, simple logic. This isn’t the arena for that discussion, however, so onwards. I can “justify” my Heart being in Justice right now; I find that I am being called upon to render judgment, both inner AND outer, on a variety of things that ALL have to do with people’s spiritual characters and their means and motives. Inner Justice may demand redress, but how it I applied is up to MY judgement (or yours, in the general.) Sometimes simply leaving a thing, dropping interest can be a form of negation and rejection that is fairly mild, non-violent and non-confrontational. Don’t get me wrong; I fear nothing about confrontation – my feeling is simply, “Why work yourself up to fever pitch like that, to glow red and shoot lasers from your eyes if you don’t have to do that?” Conservation of energy, folks, conservation of energy. Save your battle Berserker mode for the battles that matter and that MUST be fought in that manner. I like to go Juggernaut every once in a while, too, it lets off ALL the system-steam, but the price is exorbitantly high, so you can only indulge very rarely. I have been called upon this past week to render a lot of judgements in the emotional arena, as well, and I can only hope I have acquitted myself with a modicum of dignity and appropriateness of response. I KNOW I have deliberately suppressed any emotional content to my recent judgements, as it is so likely to cloud issues I don’t WANT clouded (which implies there are others I DO.) This Arcanum is Venus living in Cancer, in the sphere of Chesed, and as such s-p-e-l-l-s out Cosmic Order for us. It assumes we are neophytes (we ARE) to the real process of Judgement, and that we need to learn in order to advance, not only Justice for others but more importantly Justice FOR ourselves – we are so often the defendant in a pitiless charade of a trumped-up tribunal rather than a fair hearing. 
Today my Heart is facing and welcoming Arcanum XII, The Victim, or The Hanged Man, as I prefer. “The Victim” as a label implies all sorts of wrong notions. This is VOLUNTARY self-sacrifice; this is Duty. This is the Moon in Aries, signifying a reversal of attitudes, a new orientation and thus a transformation. It also represents the abandonment of the material and the necessity to “do whatever it takes” to continue the Journey and reach enlightenment. (The Ibis Tarot’s card looks simple but is actually chock-full of symbolism, between the palms and their cropped leaves and the manifestation of Spirit in the Material and the relentless push of the Zodiac to grow, grow, grow, it’s all there . . . grin, you just need to “see” the deck’s language.) In personal application to myself, rendering Justice can often mean “breaking the comfortable, moving on, trying new things,” because as I age, I do indeed become less adventurous, EXCEPT on the Spiritual front, where I become nearly reckless. I need to recognize my Duty, as well, something I am ALWAYS loathe to do; I’ve had a lifetime of it, and “now I’m big enough to beat you up if you try to make me do it again!” LOL, just like a teenager, eh?  WHAT my duty is here, in one particular instance currently “under observation,” is unknown to me, other than temporary measures I can enact immediately. I’m once again on that fun carnival ride, The Learning Curve. So, buckle your seat belt, Mark, you’ve got some twists and turns to go through, and maybe a few high-speed downhill scares, but if you persevere you will exit at the finish with newly-acquired knowledge worth having.”  I have never had an antipathetic response to the Hanged Man, as a matter of fact; he has always struck me as a rather friendly and certainly obliging fellow, willing to sacrifice himself like that for the gain. I would like to be able to say that, under similar circumstances, I bear myself with as much dignity and courage as the Archetype does. Yet each time the situation comes around one must “present” one’s willingness for self-sacrifice yet again; that is just the nature of the game. And finally, today I must seek out what, indeed, receiving both Justice AND Judgement on International Labor Day (May 1st) could possibly mean for me, a retired Tarot-oriented sloth. Therefore; today I ask the Cosmos to bless us all with Discernment and Fair Judgment, in order to see clearly and without obstacle the Path ahead of us.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 30Apr2016 : my Heart is embodied in I the Magus and the Feather of Truth is sticking close, adorning the brow of II The High Priestess. (Today’s deck is again *The Rôhrig Tarot” by Carl-W. Rôhrig. Today’s deck is the Czech edition, which has gorgeous gilt edges and a quality of construction better than some of the other editions. Matters of taste aside, it is STILL a fabulous deck, good in ANY edition.) Well, I must say that I am rather flabbergasted; I have NEVER received I and II like this for a morning draw, and would feel it is a safe bet to say that I won’t again. No, there is no trickery involved, I use a fan spread, and these two cards were NOT drawn next to each other as in 1, 2. These came up “naturally” in this sequence. My Heart is in new beginnings with a new set of skills and new level of experience, while the Feather of Truth is in the treasure of arcane knowledge which is available to me through the High Priestess, the Sacred, the mystically veiled truths behind the constructs of reality around us. 
This is a very “heavy” and meaningful draw for me; I am considering some profound changes in my esoteric outlook, and this straightforward reassurance of who I am and what I’m doing is gratefully received. I’m not going to chitchat today; I have too much to think about, and this draw merely reinforces, but in a majestic fashion! the fact that new horizons are beckoning and I think the new voyage may not only be necessary, as I perceive it, but beneficial and useful, which is what I am hoping it will be. If Water sits still and does not run, it becomes brackish and eventually a breeding place of infection. I think it may be wise to apply that in a broader context at this point on the Path. I pray that the Cosmos grants us ALL the wisdom today to see the illusion within the presentation and the ability to refuse to engage it. Be well.   

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 29Apr2016 : my Heart is hoping to accompany valiantly today the Page of Swords, while the Feather of Truth is off making a sentimental visit to XXI The Fool. (Today’s deck is the *Egorov Tarot: Gold Edition* by Alexander Egorov. The deck, Orthodox in background, has that icon-ic feel to it that most decks do that originate in countries with an Orthodox Christian past. There is a liberal use of gold, of course, like all good icons, but the illustrations have more in common with Marc Chagall than any Russian icon master. The deck is professionally manufactured (glossy, well-printed) and of Tarot size. It is easy to use and functions as almost all of these theme decks do, more or less well according to how invested the reader is in the presentation theme. I happen to like icons & orthodox art, so this deck works for me. Something based on a Chagall-esque interpretation of RC Church mythology would feel as equally familiar to western Christians. If you run across it, a nice addition to your deck library.) So, my Heart today has stepped down and out of his roles as King or Knight and has decided to march with the troops, the foot soldiers, beside the Page of Swords. “A young and aggressive man.” Um hmm. There is a part of my sexual personality that says, “Oh goody, bring him on!” but the (slightly) wiser part of me that always wins these kinds of confrontations says, rather, “Hmm. Probably not me, so my Heart is with one of my young friends today;” and this is true, on several fronts; one friend’s father has just had an untimely death, and several of “my flock” are going through personality or identity issues at this particular time, at the same time. There is either new psychic pollen in the air or it is the Retrograde or some abstruse alignment of the stars, because a large number of these young men are experiencing “those kinds” of changes. Naturally I’m doing a lot of “Penguin fathering” at the moment – cradling them on my cold and frozen claws and offering them bits of raw fish . . .LOL, no, but I am “being there” for them as they are calling upon me much more at this time for help answering the clue phone. This is good work for me – I not only get to do what I WANT to do, which is help people with exactly these kinds of situations, at the same time I get the emotional satisfaction of helping out my “kids,” and feeling that I play a necessary role in their lives, thus adding meaning to our sometimes improbable friendships. I view the card here today not so much as validation of that situation but simple acceptance of it and the fact that it is happening, with no positive or negative value attached. Interestingly enough, he is facing in the opposite direction to the inhabitant of the Feather of Truth’s card, XXI the Fool. (Our numbering is at the whim of the deck’s creator, of course.) 
The author gives this card a rather somber meaning: being a slave to one’s own illusion. Certainly that is one interpretation, one which he qualifies with, “After every wrong step you feel strong remorse. Consider the point: is the step so wrong and is the voice of conscience quite true?” Wow, that’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? as far as “judgements” concerning the Fool, whether you number him 0, 22, or 21? Nevertheless, I understand the thought behind the somewhat clunky phrasing – don’t be “your own worse critic.” Well, yes, that’s a truism, but again, I’m not sure that’s the Fool’s message, here or anywhere. If MY Feather of Truth is here, it is for a reason that is pertinent to me; and left to me, I would “say” (by that, I mean a combination of verbalization [manifestation: “. . . and first there was the Word,”] and Intuition) that the Truth for me, today, is to NOT be trepidatious about “stepping off the cliff”, to go ahead and take the “step of faith” required to apply myself fully to the task at hand, being of aide to others. I do have a tendency to disengage my Heart and access to more personal emotions when I am actively involved in the mentor/student, older friend/younger friend dynamic, and if driven to the end of the plank would admit that “that” is probably generated by a fear of “lack of respect & deference” on their part, something to which I rather arrogantly assume that I am entitled. That “arrogance of entitlement” is present there, too, breathing fire right below my feet while Temperance is trying to stop me any way she can.  Alright, I get it, “Be the Fool, but be as valiant, as aggressive as your focus and wary of your pride.” Today I pray that the Cosmos gives to us ALL a sense of place and purpose in our lives at this time.   


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 27Apr2016: my Heart I in the 7 of Cups and the Feather of Truth is in the hands of V The Hierophant. I was so looking forward to this morning’s draw, my first with these nearly-legendary cards, *The Röhrig Tarot* by Carl-W. Röhrig (English edition.) They carry a heavy-duty reputation all by themselves, with countless testimonials concerning their efficacy and adaptiveness. Much to my chagrin, this may be true; the cards/myself have delivered to me a harsh reminder/rebuke followed by stern counsel. Well! I guess they weren’t going to pussyfoot their way into my heart! Ha! (I don’t really anthropomorphize the cards in this manner; of course I know they are pasteboard & paint.) No sweet “amadouement” here, but rather a bracing clip across the jaw and a stern, “Wake up!” are being delivered. I’m not going to descend into a dull diatribe on Debauch, nor catalogue my participation; suffice to say that I am telling myself, “Hey, don’t get complaisant over illusions!” It is true that my Heart has felt surfeited lately, full of good things & good feelings, and yes, perhaps I have been wallowing like a pig in the mud in a self-bred complacency. That is entirely possible, knowing myself as I do. I felt rather offended at the brusquerie of the “blow,” but have to admit that there may be more than a grain of truth there, and that I would be better served not to rest on laurels not yet garnered or illusions of surfeit. It isn’t a pleasant message, and I never “like” having weaknesses pointed out to me, but I am smart enough to take advantage of the observation and advice to keep a wary eye on the situation and be ready to make changes at an instant’s notice, beyond what I can do immediately to disabuse myself of any false notions or unreasonable “amour-propre.” With a sobered Heart I turn towards the Feather of Truth, and find it in the hand of V the Hierophant, serving as quill while he writes more rules & regulations, or perhaps articles of faith. 
The Truth here seems to leap out at me from both the card and my Inner Mind: spiritual organization! In order to surmount the dangers that my Heart runs today in flirting with Debauch, my Truth to combat that nefast tendency needs to be found in some effort on my part in providing yet more organization to my body of spiritual knowledge & practices, such as they are. (I have a fear of sounding pompous, and I sincerely do not wish to give that impression; I’m not overweeningly proud of what knowledge I have. It came to me in a currency only I could pay, which is true for us all.) In the Hierophant card from this deck in particular I see myself staring back at me from that visage, even though there is no resemblance. That regard is “disrobing” and I know it well, using it often myself. It is a kind of gentle & compassionate yet implacable regard into the ordering of your being. And yes, of course that is what I see there, what you see there may be perverse Uncle Harry and a look of lust, the point being we each see what we project there, and that is what I project; a “knowing” soul who is Me looking at me, and weighing up how I’ve organized things so far. I use to be a terribly harsh judge of myself, but that has lightened considerably over the years; age & experience do that to you, you pardon a lot more bullshit . . . or you go insane. (I may be overstating the case, but I believe that Permanent Disagreeability among the Elderly is a kind of insanity due to impotent “rage against the machine.”) Thankfully, I can’t be accused of that; I am hardly the “old grouch in the armchair” kind of 60-ish year-old. Rather, “Let’s throw on some glad rags & do something!” is more my style. I have a nesting side, and I do adore being home when I am, but it’s a b-i-g world out there, and “Poppa needs fuel if he’s gonna run this engine.” In this case, the fuel is experience, of which I hope to have a continuous supply until my engines shut down for good. That being written, I would add that there is a certain pleasure to be had in doing triage on your own Mountain of Assorted Verities. It reinvigorates the soul, and breathes new energy into one’s questing spirit. Today I ask the Cosmos to send us ALL refreshing waves of renewal and reorganization!    

Monday, April 25, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 26Apr2016: today my Heart is dwelling like a happy camper surrounded by RVs in the 10 of Disks and the Feather of Truth, sly item that it is, has slipped away to rejoin the recovery effort led by IX the Hermit to rescue me from social overexposure and keep me on the Path. (Today’s deck is something of a mystery. It is called, simply, *Illustration and Tarot* by Colleen A. Hardy. There is no blurb, no writing of any sort other than the band of label-paper that slips around the box – and if you lose that, this deck would be COMPLETELY anonymous. No LWB, no advertisement, no box writing, nada, nothing, zilch. Big, oversized, professionally-done (!!) cards and an artistically patterned containing box, with NO script anywhere but on the title of the cards. I feel this must have been an art project or something of that sort, and the artist not necessarily a card reader at all. But the cards work like a dream! A bit ungainly to handle because of their large size, they nevertheless “talk” with ease. I found this out yesterday when I used them for the 1st time for a client reading [which I shall try to post a bit later.] They are in the Thoth/Crowley/GD school of Tarot, and they are marvelously “present” when they show up in the draw. I don’t know that I will use them very much, due to their size, but they are a lovely art deck and can always be used in a pinch for a reading, especially if you have Brobdignagian hands! They are on Etsy if you are interested; it is a limited run of 50, I received #25.)  (Now I’m just a bit discombobulated – it is 06:30 in the morning here, and I just received a call saying, “I need a reading immediately, I’ll be right over.” This isn’t some flake; this person is a friend and a medical professional, and this isn’t like hir at all. I’m curious. So, until s/he shows up, I’ll continue here.) I have to admit I’m a bit surprised to see my Heart luxuriating in the nearly-rotten (over)ripeness of the 10 of Disks. Every time I see the 10 of Disks I do a little mental flash on Arcanum XVI, because THAT much self-satisfaction ALWAYS falls in ruin. I’m not feeling particularly self-satisfied this morning or week, I believe, although I will admit to a feeling of being well in my groove, in a good way. I feel as if things are moving, albeit slowly, my Tarot is continuing to be of inestimable aide in my search for meaning to my existence in this Universe, (yes, yes, I know, here’s where I am supposed to get misty-eyed, unconsciously clasp my hands in a gesture of prayer, and say in a syrupy voice, “It’s all about LLLUUVVV . . .” , but don’t hold your breath) and my 3-D life is generally whirring down the road like a functioning velocipede. One can hope that the card is signifying a continuing state of affairs; it would be nice if the bottom didn’t fall out of my bank or marriage tomorrow. Turning to follow the Feather of Truth, I discover that it is vainly trying to cover the nakedness of IX the Hermit, and she keeps pushing it away as bothersome. Ahaha. I admit to about 1 microsecond of hesitation before the illustration on this card, but I fell into its groove almost immediately, and I like it. 
What appears to be an adolescent girl is our Hermit, and THAT little connection immediately brought to mind the reputed psychic powers of adolescent girls and their penchant for wild & uncontrolled manifestation. PLUS, IX the Hermit is starting to pop up regularly these days, which always signals, “Slower yet, Mark; study, review, be sure. You are going to need to SHINE, buddy, so prepare.” I can do that – but I DO need to be careful because I have a terrible habit of procrastination. I grew up in a state whose motto was “The Land of Enchantment,” which of course was morphed into “The Land of Mañana” because of a prevailing “southern” attitude and large Hispanic population, and now live in another balmy climate of, “Yeah, I’ll get around to it. No Hurry.” The French say it much more succinctly, “Rien ne presse.” You could say it in Swahili and I would have an innate understanding of the concept – ha. It IS one of the dangers of the Hermit – one must be self-motivating to profit from a sojourn atop the pillar. I believe that people in general make the mistake of associating the idea of “hermit” with a state of inactivity. Think about it: if you are “in retreat,” you are actually quite busy, primarily with sustain your existence, (Food? Shelter?) and only secondarily with studying the stars and the scrolls & signs. Famously uncaring about these mundane concerns, our young adolescent is off naked under the sky bringing her Light to the Sea in her unraveling of the warp & woof of mystery. If you can enter into the psychically adventurous spirit of that girl, you will understand what she is doing, the primary role of the Hermit – self-enlightenment. At her age, I don’t know how much success she will have, but I laud and applaud her effort to be there and remain true to her Journey. Her message to me? Yes, I can take it slower while still keeping it in motion; I’m not a celestial mechanic but I have a layman’s grasp of entropy and inertia and the necessity to not let progress on my Journey come to a complete stop at this or any Arcanum. I’ll wrap it up there. . ; in the short time that has passed, I have had another call; it seems it is going to be a busy morning. I ask the Cosmos today to let us ALL profit from our time alone and our efforts to synthesize our knowledge.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 25Apr2016 : my Heart today is in (y-a-w-n) the King of Wands and the Feather of Truth (he must be hungover from yesterday’s frenzied fête with the 9 of Alembics) only got as far as the 7 of Wands before he pooped out and came to rest. However, I’m not here today for the reading, not really. Anyone who reads me will be bored-stiff-familiar with this draw of cards for myself. That’s me, in a crown worn so long the metal has started to conform to the shape of my skull, and I’m being reminded that there is Combat just ahead, so be prepared. It’s rather standard issue reading, for me, as these things go, so I’m not being told anything new, my Tarot Guiding Spirit is on autopilot today. The only reason I’m posting at all today is that I promised myself I would say a word about this deck, the *Thelema Tarot* by Renata Lechner. This is as slick a presentation of the standard RSW imagery as I have ever seen. It is traditionalist, but with full-size borderless cards, simple titles, classic presentation and an almost shrieking lack of symbology.
 It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the “Thelema” of Crowley & the Golden Dawn and all the rest, here it is in its classic Greek definitions of “what one wishes or has determined shall be done.” (Strong’s Online Greek Lexicon.) I really like this deck ONLY because I think that is as near-to-perfect traditional RWS imagery & system as one can get. The art is strikingly beautiful, and with a basic, memorized factoid “sheet” and even a small talent for weaving a tale, a reading is easily constructed. It won’t be *Mutational Alchemy*, let’s face it, but with this deck it will be lovely & elegant, legally defined & practiced, RWS-based Tarot card reading.( A final, personal note: I find that I don’t really like giving RXS readings any longer, I’ve spoiled myself with all of the arcane decks I enjoy so much. It’s an odd feeling, somewhat akin to being kicked out of your family home and told to fend for yourself. Ha!) I ask the Cosmos today to let the day pass in peace for ALL of us to await further developments on the morrow. Be Zen, people.    

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 23Apr2016: today my Heart lies in IV the Star while the Feather of Truth has comfortably ensconced itself in the 9 of Alembics (Cups), « Happiness. » (Today’s deck is *The Mutational Alchemy Tarot* by m1thr0s and Izi Ningishzidda, of the Abrahadabra Institute. This is a “heavy” deck, and that means that this isn’t your granny’s Tarot. This is very heavily magickal stuff, straight from the realms of Thelema and the most serious practices of western esotericists. It’s a deck with which to work magick. Mr. T. Inglis turned me on to this deck & its school of thought, and I am grateful. If you want to embark on a reading that is simply downright deadly-serious, this is the deck. Not to say that the deck is deadly, of course it isn’t! but there is NOTHING about this deck that in ANY WAY lends itself to the frivolous reading or light of heart interpretation. This is magick with military discipline. You’ve traded in your My Little Pony bicycle for a Land Rover. Get ready to change your name to Blood777RingsOfSaturn and kick your mother-in-law to the curb, you’ve got shit to do! It’s a wonderful, magickal deck, and very, very serious business, so I wouldn’t recommend it for any but the most diehard of Journeyers, alchemists, magicians and Tarologues.) I’m starting the day with my Heart in Atu IV, the Star. (Yes, we’re going that way – Atus and changed names and attributes. It all makes magickal sense, trust me.) Let’s take a gander at the data on this “new” Atu first, and then we’ll briefly look at how it works. In the Hebrew alphabet, this is the letter: ה Hé; the number 5; on the Path from Sephira #2 (Chokmah) to Sephira #4 (Chesed.) Yes, I know . . . “WTF are you doing, Mark?? The Star is XVII!! Put it back! Put it back before the sky falls!!” Wrong, Chicken Little. There is a reason for this, and a lot of it has to do with, yes, guess who, Aleister Crowley. This is neither the time nor space nor place to get into it, but Crowley participated in the deliberate misplacement of the Star & Emperor Atus to confuse the false initiate. Here is what Mutational Alchemy has to say about the Star: “Mutational Alchemy is not concerned with cataloging astrological ideas so much as it is interested in the anatomics [sic] of the Body of Light as outlined in Tantricism [sic] and alluded to time and time again through most of the great Mystery Traditions down through the ages. . . Thus the only star that very much concerns us here is the star of Consciousness itself. That this type of Star may find certain parallels among Heavenly stars should come as no great surprise as the laws of physics that govern the Without are very often echoed seamlessly in the Within. Hermetic Alchemy has known this for a very long time and Mutational Alchemy is a specialized extension of Hermetic Alchemy seeking to capture a falsifiable physics of the *Star* that we (humans) ultimately are.” Well . . . umm . . . harrumph! . . .well, yes. The emphasis here is on the Higher Self and not an exterior force. “The Star image depicted here is built upon the balancing of both Manifest and Hidden paths within the Tree of Life. The 22 Manifest Paths are better understood by most students of qabalah or modern western magickal disciplines . . . Lesser known are the 16 Hidden Paths. These are legitimate paths not included in the 22 Manifest Paths system that, otherwise, operate exactly the same way. Together, they form a coherent glyph in themselves, looking strikingly like some exotic Diamond. Thus it is typically referred to in Mutational Alchemy as the *Hidden Diamond*. The Star as depicted here is rooted in the premise that the alchemical marriage of these two great Pathworkings is preeminently the Key to Body of Light Wholeness, and thus to Higher Self and finally Completion. It is a visual mapping of these two great cosmological divisions coming together in undivided balance and equilibrium. This is the meaning of the Great Work as defined in Mutational Alchemy and is deemed the most viable road accessible to us leading out of the darkness and on to the stars for every human being.” And there you have it, nothing small-time about that is there? My Heart is in strange territory indeed if it is voyaging there, but for today, I believe I need to consider “my Heart” in a MUCH larger context, even conflated with “Destiny,” as it is here in this card. “Hoping” forward, I see the Feather of Truth has taken to his cups with the 9 of Alembics, “Happiness.” 
(If you were just idly wondering how many stray alembics you have in the kitchen, trust me, you have none. It’s an alchemical vessel.) The 9 of Alembics, AKA “Happiness”, the Water of Luna (Yesod) and is also Jupiter in Pisces. Here again, we have a slightly different interpretation of the pip card: “In Water of Luna we have an ethereal and psychic kind of emotional vibe, everything is in tune with the deepest and highest levels of consciousness. Jupiter in Pisces further underscores the idea of a high and ethereal consciousness. It is easily Happiness as it is also good luck and good vibes. Generally speaking the 9’s have more to do with mankind’s future growth and development than any other card, so in spreads it will tend to advise on self-improvement. This card advises us to find our bliss, and this in turn will lead to a more natural kind of prosperity than the artificial job where the work is unhappy and the only purpose is money. The Tetractys on the front of the spaceship is central as is the Saturn sigils to the meaning of the 9 of Alembics. The basic idea is that of balance and power. The card may have a lot of power behind it but it will be manageable and steady.” As far as Happiness goes, you have to admit that isn’t a bad rundown of where you want to be going: your bliss. Of course, like everyone else, I am sick unto death of hearing that fucking imbecilic “Follow your bliss!” However, given the source here, I can at least remove the scorn from my assessment and take it at face value. On a more mundane note, my wife & I celebrated our wedding anniversary last night and Happiness was very much present in the air as we congratulated each other on caring enough to work at it and turning a good thing into a great thing. Our Journeys have been in tandem for a bit now, and we can grok the benefits of the partnership. So bring it on; Happiness is work, but it is GOOD work. I am over-prolix today, so I shall cut it there. I enjoy taking the little-known backroads in Tarot and today’s reading, while actually very basic, has taken on some very exotic vestments. “Mark, your Heart desires, with all of its being, to manifest the Star of your Consciousness in the establishment of your seat. Consider the work of Happiness and be content, the Path continues to open before you and the vessel you have and are creating.” Well . . .okay, then. I ask the Cosmos today to grant us ALL the opportunity to have our work contribute to our own Happiness and Enlightenment. Okay, then! Everybody on the bus!    

Friday, April 22, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my daily Scales of Ma’at for 23Apr2016: today my Heart has gone « home, » the sly little devil, to – ta da! - the King of Swords; go ahead, gasp your surprise. Yawn. While my Heart is juicing up at the fountain of his birth, the Feather of Truth has hastened away to be with her inamorata, the 8 of Wands, and who can blame her! He’s quick, he’s fiery and he has no lack of wood on offer (sorry, couldn’t resist.) (Today’s deck is *The Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christine Payne-Towler & Michael Dowers. Yes, yes, you have heard me blather wildly before about the greatness and the coolness of this deck, but today I’m here to tell you about its clone, the New Edition (#2 #3?) which I call mini-, but it isn’t, just in relation to the art deck size of its original, to which I am very attached. Good news! The mini- works! Like re-watching a film, the difference in card size “brings out more” certain elements of the card, elements that aren’t necessarily emphasized in the art size. Otherwise, the deck is intact, thank Athena! so I shan’t have to fly to wherever and upbraid Ms. Payne-Towler nor Mr. Dowers. J [Discipline is necessary, but so fatiguing, you know?] Actually, Christine has become a new friend, and I have great respect for her scholarship. The cards are a marvel in any size.) So my Heart is in ole Kingie, is he? I suspect you must get as tired as I do of seeing this King (or the Wands chief) show up again & again & again. However, let’s just accept it & put it to rest: “Mark, until you get out of this temporary Mirrored Fun House, accept it, dude, you are one or the other of those Kings. That IS your personality, Mark. Damn, dude, live with it, it isn’t that bad!” I have never wanted to be anything else, actually, EXCEPT that naked chick wreathed atop the world, “but I can’t talk about that, the implanted electrodes will punish me.” I have never understood why this Aquarian has such an inbuilt “fit” for me; I am NOT a Solomon. However, there is a passage in Christine’s book which describes me fairly well, I believe, and I can say that without breaking my arm patting myself on the back. Her book (“Tarot of the Holy Light” Christine Payne-Towler, Noreah/Brownfield Press, 2015) gives the King this upright description: “. . . he doesn’t let opinion intrude into his calculations. His objectivity and experiential wisdom have earned him the respect he receives from his community; those who cannot work out their problems seek him out for answers. In family affairs, he is the wise father, not necessarily sentimental or cuddly, but offering a model of rational thought and considered action . . . .” That gives a far graver image to my behavior than I do; I generally hide all of that under the persona of the Garrulous & Very Funny Storyteller. I AM a great storyteller, I know it; and my skill with words and the expression of emotion is a fine and delicate tool that I enjoy using. Vulgarity serves to lighten the mood and then irony or illumination drives the point home. All good stories have a moral quality, and that needs ALWAYS be considered. Yet Solomon I am not, because I don’t really have the personality to be that overweening in my superego; I can’t take myself that seriously. My Purpose, my Journey, my Godliness, those I take dead-seriously, and suffer no interference, ever. My sense of humor is “vast & legendary,” but if you lose it with regards to you, I am implacable. 
Implacability is one of those qualities that I don’t necessarily like, but haven’t jettisoned; I learnt it from my mother and it serves a certain purpose such as no other state of Will can. Feeling implacable and implacably pursuing the implacable Feather of Truth (you see how quickly it becomes meaningless? Ha!) I find him hanging out and smoking a joint with the 8 of Wands. Marijuana never slows down those 8 Wands, but I’m another story! HA. And look at the size of that doobie! Holy heaving Vulcan! We are in the Sun in Sagittarius country, which is like being in “Hurry up before the forest fire catches us!!” country, according to this deck, and I rather like that. It is all fine & good to continually rote-flash on the 8 and drool out, “Swiftness” to your client, but haven’t you ever wondered, WHY?? are things in such a hurry? “What’s with the bum’s rush, Usher?” Ms. Payne-Towler is all about this card containing all the dangers of a flash fire – the forest is tinder-dry, and all it takes is one lightning strike or one fallen match to start the conflagration. I think that’s a valid interpretation, although I’m a “touch” less sure it is quite so Chicken Little-ish (I may be misattributing Christine’s construct), i.e. she’s not offering, as she says, “ a serene and prosaic version” of the 8 here, she’s giving us one that is active as all Hell & working in an emergency.  However, I am completely in line with her conclusion; “There is no remedy but to live with that awareness firmly in mind. We are put on notice: Catch up. Get busy. Do it now. There is literally no time to waste.”  Well, alrighty then!! Get your project running, Mark, in some way, in any way, but running! No time to lose. So with that, I shall ask the Cosmos to give me some good running shoes today, and above all, to give ALL of us an attitude of efficiency & rapidity with which we can accomplish the Great Work of our Purpose.    

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 21Apr2016: my Heart today is out there trying to stoke up passion in the whole organism for the upcoming project with the 7 of Gold (Fire), while the Feather of Truth has snuck into the duvet of the Queen of Mallets (Earth) to live a life of ordered competence and cushioned perseverance. (Today’s deck is the *Masonic Tarot* by Patricio Diaz Silva. I have a good friend, a French dentist who is also a Freemason. I ask him to look at the Masonic and crypto-Masonic decks I buy to give me his “rating” of each deck. This one pleased him with its color presentation but he found it lacking in symbology, although what symbology is present is correct. He thought it errored a bit too much on the side of “To Be Silent.” [As of now, he still prefers the Bouchard Tarot on the subject; well, of course he does, he and it are French! LOL.] I must say that for purism, the Bouchard IS better, but this is handier & easier to manipulate, unlike the Bouchard; also, if you are familiar with the corpus of Masonic symbology and ritual, you can infer the necessities just by looking at one of these “shorthand” cards. It’s okay; not better, nor worse, than that. To be honest, if I’m going to “go Masonic,” I’d use the Bouchard. If you think you need a representative of that side of Tarot, go for the Jean Bouchard as well, while you can get it.) My Heart today lies in flame, the 7 of Gold to be exact. Yes, I know, you thought Pentacles at first, as did I! But no, Gold is the key, the shine of gold, the brilliance of Fire, plus the imaginary value system which places gold at the top. To be honest, I think it was a misguided choice for Fire: Earth, yes, but Fire as naked “Gold?” no. (Oh well, Señor Silva couldn’t give a rat’s ass what I think, so moving on . . .)In this deck our 7 of Gold (Golden Batons?) stands for Passion in Action, especially work-wise, and a projection of strength, wealth & expansion. Well, ho-ho-ho, that sounds like a FINE place for my Heart to be, in terms of this upcoming, “rock Mark’s world” project I will be manifesting (still unformed for me!) OF course it could equally be delusional, but then we might see the 7 of Cups rather than Gold. I‘ll take this as a fine dream and nothing more, one of my Heart’s desires, not realities, at least not yet. I’m not going to dwell here, but move right on to the Queen of Mallets as the holder of the Feather of Truth today. Mallets are our Earth suit in this deck; yeah, okay, we can let that one slide, it works, kind of . . . . I’m being informed, I believe, that for the growth of said idea/project I am going to need to either manifest (unlikely) or seek the partnership of (more likely) a Queen of Earth kind of person, and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that it’s a woman (for the Balance, folks!)  I’m going to be the Fire and “Sturm und Drang”,
 I’m good at that – and I can DO the Queen of Earth thing, it is just that it isn’t “my thing,” you know? My rhinestones sparkle better if I don’t cover them in dish soap and furniture polish. “It’s a thankless job, but someone’s gotta do it.” You may believe me when I say that occasions have occurred where I have been called upon to provide the janitorial service, and have done so quite willingly, knowing THAT was my contribution in THAT scenario; here, however, I’m going to need someone else to do that, I need to focus more on the “meat” of the matter. And looky looky – here I am writing about this idea as if it is real and is going to happen, assuming that what the cards are picking out of me is the future course of action already chosen, dictated or offered and that I plan of following through with manifestation of it. Ha! I wasn’t aware I was quite so committed to what is still just a pipedream and so much smoke & mirrors in my imagination. I guess this calls for the final and ultimate word on the subject, “On verra.” LOLOL, “We’ll see.” I DO mean that with a smile and a brimming sense of good humor; I’m not trying to naysay my own projection from its inception. I’m just trying to be realistic, as if I had told you, “Yes, I’ve decided to go green and build my own hay-bale house with used soda can insulation.” Yes, it’s do-able, yes, it’s “Green,” but . . . me?? Does anyone who knows me see me doing that instead of pulling out my wallet in order to have it done? No-o-o, not really, those who know me would raise an eyebrow at the naiveté of someone who wholeheartedly believed it. Besides, I’m much more a “share the wealth” kind of guy, and I would rather help some guys make some money by building something for me than doing it inefficiently myself and eventually paying double to have it done right anyway! I’ve learned my lesson on that one, BUT . . . I don’t have that choice here, this MUST be “artisanal,” i.e. handmade, by me, with my own Intention & Will. So, even if I’m ham-handed about it, “I expect you to be polite and to compliment me for at least trying, do you understand, Virginia?” “Yes, Uncle Mark, I understand. But what if you come up with a real howler, an utter waste of time and about as attractive as a turd in a punchbowl, what then, Uncle Mark?” “Quit projecting, Virginia, or you can go visit Auntie XVIII.” SO there we have it – and no, no voyages into the esoterically exotic today, sometimes that stuff “jes’ wears me down, Momma, I swear, it jes’ wears me down.” I like to take mini-breaks from the esoteric, as much as I love it, because I think one HAS to if you are going to absorb any of it with a modicum of sanity and a dollop of good sense. I’m projecting an image of stodgy stability here, and believe me, I am the EXACT opposite of that, but it remains as a kind of fantasy ideal that I never want to REALLY reach but like to keep as a referent. Enough blahblah – I’m okay with today’s draw. Not spectacular, just gently insistent on this projected future “thing” in my life, this project. I can’t help but think of my Facebook friend Melanie, who tells me, more or less, “The masterpiece will arrive, but you need to do the sketches first.” I think she’s right – I’m still sketching because I NEED to be still sketching. It’s too soon to jump off the high board yet. But that will come, indeed, that will come. I pray that today the Cosmos blesses us ALL with Meaning & Purpose and the Grace to accept them.   

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 20Apr2016 : my Heart today is where I expect it to be, after the advice of yesterday, in IX the Hermit, while the Feather of Truth is taking a short ride on the palanquin of Pharaoh in XLII Preeminence. (Today’s deck is special, because it is touted as being the “best” of all the Egyptian-style decks out there, the *Egipcios Kier Tarot* by Iglesias Janeiro, an early 20th-century Argentine occultist. Valhalla knows, it is hard enough to find to merit the suspicion that it is wildly popular because of its deep esotericism, but I imagine that isn’t the reason. It is simply an older deck, but boy! is it a magical deck in the best sense of the word. Technically, the cards are a success, with good art, good cardstock, gold foil leafing, etc. The only real letdown is the lack of a really good, comprehensive BOOK to companion the deck. It does have a LWB which tries, hard, to do the job, but it is, after all, just a LWB. But on to the deck – and it is a beauty!! Clear, pointedly esoteric art, all the symbols you can shake a desire-stick at, handsome production, the glitter of gold leaf, it’s all there. IF you are a fan of Egyptian –style Tarot; if not, then look elsewhere because there are no mutant-eyed sad infants here. Now, if you are the normal perceptive reader, you ask yourself, “But how does Mark KNOW that it’s a good Tarot?” Wait no longer, hungry brain-munchers from beyond the grave! Look at THE VERY 1ST DRAW I got with this deck; The Hermit and something resembling closely the Emperor or the King of Swords, “Preeminence.” Now tell me, go ahead, TELL me that this deck doesn’t already know me and my foibles!! HA! It was the devil to locate, and I believe the copy I finally obtained came from a small bookshop in Columbus, Ohio via eBay . . . I think. At any rate, if you like Egyptian decks, and you can lay your hands on a copy by hook, crook, or sexual politics, grab it!) As I said, Go ahead, tell me that this deck doesn’t work well, after giving me this hand which serves as its “lettre d’accréditation,” and having the nerve to please me aesthetically as well. Grin. My Heart today is in the Hermit, IX, just as it was counseled yesterday by the cards in order to spend time reviewing and recapping my “studies.” Refreshing my knowledge base is being advised before I undertake the grand work ahead. Okay, I can live with that, as evidenced by today’s draw, showing that, indeed, my Heart listened to the advice and hastened to the anchorite’s cave to make it his own. The Hermit is all about Mars & Aries, my natal Sign(s), along with their accompanying behaviors, especially when employed in the curious world of the Hermit. He must spend the majority of his time in solitude & study, but he is also called upon to go out into the world and to “glitter & shine” by the brilliance of his Gnosis. He is to guard the Secrets, yes, but he must transmit them, as well. 
As the Hermit, I’m walking in the same direction as the hitchhiking Feather of Truth on the palanquin of XLII Preeminence, which is a good thing; as Anglophones & westerners we tend to view progression as left to right and regression as right to left, and in this case, I have both my Heart and the Feather of Truth aligned to PROgress in the right direction towards eventual Enlightenment. Preeminence is about Venus, in this case exalted in Writing on the Flight of the Ba bird, an aspect of the soul. Pharaoh depicted as god/goddess isn’t uncommon, and here he is being borne forward by slaves under the fully opened disk of the Solar deity, ‘Fidelity’ his dog at the side of his chair. Those curiously headed staffs you see here and there in an Egyptian Tarot are “uas” staffs and were symbols to signify a member of the aristocracy. Heaven knows, I can remember breaking a number of them on the backs of recalcitrant slaves . . .oops! time-slip, sorry! It has been happening more often these days . . . . If you are into the “What minor Arcanum is this card REALLY?” game, and incorrect may I add, this is the 6 of Swords. In a Thoth deck, the 6 of Swords is “Science”, and is about Mercury in Aquarius. “And THAT, Boswell, is why London burned!” You see? Nothing at all to do with the concept of preeminence, which in the Egipcio Kier is described in VERY King of Swords terms: “An active and determined person. Experience. Authority. Control. Command. A professional man. Someone proficient in his field. Justice. Force. Superiority. A person having many ideas, thoughts & designs.” (The LWB of this deck, by Stuart R. Kaplan.) As you can read for yourself, this is either the Wand or the Sword King, and we KNOW how often the Tarot calls out my self-casting in that role. As for what this reading says for my day, I would have to say that “keeping my head in the books” for the moment is a good idea, because, again, it is preparing me for some sort of presentation of something to the world beyond my walls. That makes this a very favorable daily reading and thusly I can confidently bless it with a soft “So Mote It Be.” I pray that the Cosmos give us ALL the means to advance in preeminence in our chosen journeys today, and the good sense to stay in step with the procession!  


Monday, April 18, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 19Apr2016: my Heart is in #47 The Conjecture while the Feather of Truth has to be fetched from his classes with Thoth working on his #54 Study (-ies). (Today’s deck is the *Egyptian Tarot* by Esther Casla. I have no idea why, but this little deck evokes a kind of wry tenderness in me. It is amateurish and basic and the art is simplistic, yet for all its lack of pretension it is endearing. It isn’t very gnostic, and By Jove’s Teeth! it is refractory and difficult to break (tame)! I had to shuffle, cut & draw thrice to get something that made sense, before the deck would become docile & cooperative, and I am NOT speaking of constructing a pleasant reading! It did adapt and work with me finally, however, and I feel like a Dutch uncle. It is a 1 – 78 system deck, no minors, no Courts, and I’m getting more and more used to dealing with that. I won’t say I like it, necessarily, but it has an inherent, rigorous logic of its own. The deck works, but it isn’t the Magnum Opus of Egyptian Tarots, and one shouldn’t expect that from this modest but amusing deck.) The deck’s LWB gives card #47, Conjecture, a divinatory meaning of future happiness, pure & long-lasting love & family understanding. Reversed indicates spiritual affliction & the Moon in dreams. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? where they invent these LWB meanings for the cards; it is hard to believe that there are 7 billion individual interpretations for each card, but in truth that IS the Truth. The meaning of a card is ALWAYS unique to the Querent. That is why we tarologues exist – to do the translation. Don’t fool yourself that you have a glamorous and occult profession; you (and I!) are merely “translators at the U.N.” Of course, we ARE just a little bit unique because you don’t generally see professional translators at the U.N. busting a nut trying to advance their own growth, to graduate their soul & become enlightened individuals. (They’re in it for the 24-hour smorgasbord of international sexual delight, or so one hopes. Just the idea of sleeping with Ban Ki Moon gets some little intern from the Midwest all worked up! Ha!) The conjecture of future happiness gets a bit more baroque when you are talking about someone on the other side of 60. We are closer to the end of the novel than the beginning, and we start to long for the dénouement so that we can close the cover on a satisfying read, and after a sufficient breather, pick up another book that we hope will prove to be as fascinating. I don’t fear Death, although I DO have a certain amount of distaste for WAYS in which to die; keep burning to death for yourself, please, that particular end horrifies me. This probably means, knowing how perverse my karma can be, that I will die in a fire. But the Big Noun, Death, doesn’t bother me. I am “burning” with curiosity to see the other side, I really want To Know. I’m very heavily invested in payoff time, I have built MYSELF around the idea that MY destiny continues after a minor interruption like death. It had better be fucking true, or I shall bring down the heavens and burn the stars . . . by the Gods I will. I will not brook disappointment, not on THAT. So I can conjecture all I want, I already know how it MUST turn out. Otherwise, my mind shatters at the reality that it is ALL meaningless. That there WAS no point, it was just random chemical reactions, that’s all. NO. I “conjecture” that, on the off-chance that it IS just random chemical reaction, I shall have to become God and create the Big Bang myself, all the while shaking my head ruefully and muttering, “Typical, fuckin’ typical, leave it for Mark to do, AGAIN, that lazy useless fucker. Why I keep him around I don’t know . . .” “No, Virginia, it isn’t blasphemy if you are stating a conjecture.” Grin. 
And having writ, the moving finger doth move on . . . to the Feather of Truth today, which is right up my alley; a deity of learning & knowledge, I have always had a soft spot for Thoth, although he is an emotionally dry person himself. His passions are the Great Themes of Knowledge, and he has little use for tiny organic us except as students, because inherent in teaching is the passing of information, and he’s ALL about that! Our rather punch-drunk LWB here states that this card means Thought, Speculation and Investigation, while reversed it “expresses unknown enemies, treason & slander.” ??? Really? Well, if you say so, my dear, but on that point I’ll beg to differ – you’re full of shit. At its most occulted and reversed, it would probably mean something much closer to being “sterile, unfruitful” rather than empire-destroying evil actions. “But it’s NOT reversed, is it, Blanche, it’s NOT reversed!” No, it isn’t, and if I’m going to find the Feather of Truth anywhere today here it IS in recourse to “my studies;” Any conjectures I may have about ANY level of the future, physical/mental/intellectual/spiritual, can and are answered in my studies, I already know that. I also know that I haven’t had a good long session with my “study materials” for a while, just me and a parchment or a tome (read “book” J ) in the candlelit study of the old Usher mansion. Grin. So I think Perhaps I’ll take that as my major clue today and spend the day in my studies, conjecturing about this & that, but above all, I hope, discerning the most “just” path forward into my future. I ask the Cosmos today to help me and ALL of us to profit from that which we study, to learn the Eternal Truths and to grow from the knowledge.   


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my (modified) Scales of Ma’at for 18Apr2016: today my Heart is sharing the grape in XLIII the 3 of Cups while the Feather of Truth has flown, like a homing pigeon (honest! I DO know there are other men in the pack!) to the airy breast of LI the Master of Swords. In the occurrence, I felt the jump between my Heart and the Truth was rather a stretch, so I drew a third card, a “pathway” card, IX The Veiled Lamp. (Today’s deck is one of my very favorites, the *Ibis Tarot* by Josef Machynka. One remarks right away that he has combined, successfully, the two systems here of the 1 – 78 “Egyptian” system and the structure of a RWS deck, complete with suits of pips & the Courts. It works. I neglected to mention in my 3rd “Tarot Egipcio” posting that Ms. Moscardó also provides a table of equivalencies between the 1 – 78 system and a RWS-style organized deck if one feels compelled to make them. [Can you “feel” the strict thinness of my lips as I cast a steely metaphorical gaze upon you as I write this? Grin.] It’s mollycoddling, I tell you, mollycoddling! J I shall interpret the cards here as more RWS, simply because it’s simpler for a daily draw. I don’t usually start my day with a full-out, pedal-to-the-metal, Hit-the-Hyperdrive! reading. If I need to draw one of those, for myself or another, after 9 a.m. is just fine! But if I DID want to do that, this deck would work equally as well for that as for this.) So, my Heart is off trying to climb into his Cups with the 3. 
This is quite literally the card to signify that golden, glowing feeling of a good cocktail buzz as you meet sympathetic people in a warm & welcoming ambiance, Manhattan or Martini in hand. (If you’re drinking Cosmopolitans, the Howard Johnson’s is down the road. Order some fried clams while you’re at it.)  I don’t know why my Heart would be feeling either cocktail-y or disposed to warm & fuzzy new relationships, but OK on the second; the first is out as I don’t drink, but hey, if we can wax poetic over a ginger ale, I’m in. I’m going to have to adopt a Wait-And-See attitude on this one, at least for the moment; the day has yet to really begin! The Feather of Truth is riding in his accustomed place on the breast of the Master of Swords, which of course isn’t surprising, considering he has been spending an inordinate amount of time over in the Wands Court, the opportunist! We all know about his Majesty King Decisiveness, so I won’t belabor the point here, in the interest above all of brevity: I want to avoid prolixity today if possible.  I can inhabit the Master of Swords easily enough, but the path/connection/relation between the 3C and the KS is hard to 
discern in this early dawn light. Therefore, I have drawn a 3rd card, IX The Veiled Lamp, AKA The Hermit. I’m going to read this as follows: While my day may have opportunity to benefit from a warm emotional atmosphere, with congenial people and/or an intriguing new relationship, but the Truth for today is to remain true to the inner Me, that intellectual King who is forever aiming to be the better man, and approaching it from his own particular Air-oriented standpoint. I like this King, whereas the Knight of this suit is always a bit too “fougueux” for my taste, too prone to macho reaction. How I am to progress from the warm & necessarily numerous company on the Barque of the Orphic Egg to the severe geometrical garden of the Master is evidently most directly accessed by following the Path of the Veiled Lamp, and not only withdrawing from frivolous social intercourse but using my knowledge to make the journey instead of the soles of my feet. 
I’m familiar with the destination, I can teleport, I don’t have to walk it, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. I believe we tend to forget the Hermit is about Jupiter in Leo, the maker of Jollity in a flaming sun sign, and for me, there is a great deal of joy in the path of the Hermit. I enjoy solitude, and the Hermit allows one to enjoy a respite from the babbling bullshit coming from the unconscious herd around us. Oh stop it; you’ve thought the same thing, too. To “retire to my study,” to “bury myself in many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,” and thereby amuse my mind endlessly with the discoveries to be made in a book, and to “work it out mentally, like a puzzle,” in order to put it into application the next time “I take to the field.” This is good; I can indulge a bit of the IX today without any problem whatsoever. In doing so, I shall try to remember to keep my human fires lit and glowing while nevertheless moving towards picking up my crown and sword again. I ask the Cosmos to give me the patience and the wisdom to make use of today, as I pray for the Cosmos to bless ALL of You, as well!   


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 17Apr2016: my Heart is represented by the “. . . ugh!! Wait!! I’m having a heart attack!! No!! The King of Wands!! That NEVER happens!!” (Ha, you must think I draw from only 6 or 7 cards when I wish to represent myself, the 2 Kings & 2 Knights of Wands & Fire & IV, V, & sometimes IX.  Always men of power and ultra-pumped-ego. No, no, I don’t think of myself that way, I really don’t, but it seems the outside does, and quite often, though why I have no idea, I’m not a titan of industry or anything even remotely similar. That’s old school; replace “titan of industry” with “tech start-up billionaire” and you get the idea.) At any event, my Heart is riding with his Majesty the King of Flame and the Feather of Truth, finding all that too wrought with “sturm und drang” for its taste seeks comfort, solace and sanctuary in the bosom of III the Empress. (Today’s deck is *The Ancient Egyptian Tarot* by Clive Barrett. While not part of “the Spanish shipment,” it is in character so I’m throwing it in here as a latecomer to the party. This is a professionally manufactured deck, and is thus free from any manufacturing defects. It spreads like a dream, making that drama-queen-moment when you fan the cards across the tabletop very effective. As far as the deck’s guts go, however, this is strictly Tarot 101. Any depth of knowledge these cards convey has been brought to the table by YOU, not the cards, (which may be true in any case.) The pictures are pretty, but too reduced to be useful other than as indicators; you need to enlarge a scan to actually make out detail. This is Egyptian Lite, if you like. Harrumph. “Mother! Take that tea towel off of your head! You do NOT resemble Cleopatra!!”) I feel so idiotic repeating myself endlessly about the King of Wands, so I won’t. You’ve heard most of the various presentations of this gentleman through my avatar; you know where he/I stand. My Heart seems to have, I’m afraid to say it, come home to roost from some R&R today, and I’m not sure why. A bit fatigued, perhaps, with the recent emotional mini-series and resulting dénouement. I’m going to leave him there, he’s not in a “let’s discuss goals, strategies & plans & revise in the light of new information” mood today.
 I’m “instructed” to seek solace in the ample & comforting bosom of III the Empress. If I were still a gay, carefree & not-so-happy bachelor, this might prove a problem, but not now, not for me; I got smart and married my best friend in France, once I had met her and we got to know each other. It was simply What To Do, along the order of a Destiny Imperative; “You WILL do this, or risk kicking yourself in the ass until you die. And I will provide the steel-toed boot.” So, I DO have a calm, nurturing, generous, moving Imperial bosom upon which to lay my weary head, you see; I knew I would need one, some day, and the event of my wife’s Journey and mine dovetailing at that particular point in time was synchronicity at its most elegant. Thank Hermes Trismegistus that I met her! Her being in my life has allowed me to “break on through to the other side.” I am NOT saying that you need “the heterosexual experience” to evolve; I am saying that I did. My mother had poisoned women for me, and that needed to be healed. So, if I’m going to need to lay down with the lambs today and accept some kindness & generosity from a goddess of Love, I could do worse than Hathor/my wife. That’s it for today; no earthshaking revelations; no vulgarity so blistering it takes off nail polish, just some nice cards for an impatient man. Who is trying, real hard, to not be impatient, at least for today. I ask the Cosmos, with what humility I can summon in this prideful heart, to bless us ALL today with some down time, some R&R and above all a break from our own drives. So mote it be!    

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 16apr2016 (or for the mathematically inclined, 4²·4·4X5·4²): today my Heart has thrown off all restraint and gone to visit XV El Mal (the Devil, although Mal is more accurately translated “Evil”) while the Feather of Truth, faced with the brazenness of our pro forma approach, has gone to seek solid reassurance from IV El Faraón (the Emperor.) (Today’s deck is *El Tarot Egipcio* by Margarita Arnal Moscardó. This is the 3rd in the 3-deck “check-it-out” of “the Spanish shipment,” three Egyptian-Tarot-themed Spanish decks I received 4 days ago. This lady has some serious knowledge in her quiver! The cards are “just right” [“Yes, Goldilocks?”] in feel, well-made and wonderfully drawn, with a good balance between the “artisanal” and the “computer graphic.” It is obvious these illustrations are a labor of love. Their esoteric message is heavily laden with every possible system you can imagine, mainly because she has wrapped up an entire and whole organic Tarot system, of the 1 – 78 variety [no suits, no Courts]. I am impressed, not merely by the charm of the cards, to which I am unaccountably susceptible, but also with the formidable body of work, or system, that Ms. Moscardó has built around her cards, or that her cards have been built around; it is hard to distinguish chicken from egg here. I shall be working often with these cards; I can tell that I am going to LIKE them & learn from them. One minor side note: The wonderful, 319-page book is in Spanish. The English edition, if it exists, is as rare as teeth from a hen. So, brush up your Spanish, ¡Señors, Señoras and Señoritas! ) Diving in, as I can think of no other rational response when faced with this card, I find my Heart cozying up to that incarnation of the Material, XV El Mal, or in this case “Menkeret,” and here I run into a small problem. I am something of an amateur Egyptologist, and thus I know, beyond doubt, that if a name ends in the –et or –t sound, the person is a woman, exclusively, as well as the fact that Menkeret was one of 8 Sekhmet-goddesses designated to carry the body of the dead pharaoh through the marshes one must traverse in the afterlife. She is a protective goddess.  The image is more-or-less of the god Khnum, a ram-headed Nile river god of ancient lineage, whose nature was literally designated as ‘fluid.’ Now, I can go two ways with this: 1) knowing the card to be completely FACTUALLY incorrect, I lose all confidence in the deck, judge the creatrix a charlatan and weep the loss, OR 2) I go with the flow that this card-mythology need not NECESSARILY match pixel for pixel the reality of Egyptian mythology as we know it from the science of Egyptology, that it is allowed to exist creatively for just this deck. I chose option #2. I can hope that I am not so anal I cannot admit the existence of a divinatory mythology particular to a certain representation of traditional symbols, i.e.; this one deck. So this glaring misconnect is swept under the rug with breathtaking hypocrisy by . . . me. Hey, I bought it, it’s my deck to use or not, to believe or not. I would like to think I’m large enough to skip the faults and go for the gems hidden in the ore.  As to why my Heart is here, it could simply be the echoes of a dance performance we attended last night, and the physical yearnings it awoke in me; all of that freedom, that energy, that vitality and sexual joie-de-vivre that was an everyday beverage during the sadly underappreciated but gloriously exploited years of youth! There, how’s that for trapped in the material, eh?? LOL, even bittersweet memory becomes grist for the mill which fuels the Journey. Here in particular, the darkest meaning can be read as “suffering is how you pay your debts of this world.” (Liberally paraphrased from the deck’s book, by me.) I could wish that had been put differently; the way it stands, it looks like Christian moralizing at its worst, but then again, Christianity IS yet another Egyptian religion, so what can one expect?  Neptune exalted in Leo doesn’t do much for me, either; now had it been Neptune in Aries, THEN we’d be talking astral par-TEE.
 And let me tell you a not-so-secret; I’ve always thought the Devil was 2nd rate to MY act. Ego? Yes. Truth? A lot. I don’t try to compete with the Devil any longer, I gave way on the grounds of his immortal good health and my lack of it, and left the field feeling amply satisfied that I had represented myself well. Happily, as I leave El Mal behind, I can see that mutual backs are turned and the Feather of Truth is having nothing to do with the memories of illusions I am leaving behind. It’s almost comical, isn’t it? El Mal facing Left, and El Faraón facing stolidly Right. Both Fire elementals! But in IV we have Uranus in Aquarius, making for an independence and originality without limits. We can run down all the qualities of the Emperor, but we know them, and there’s no need. The Truth for me today is really fairly Adult Basic 101; “Quit playing around and amusing yourself, Mark. You have serious, 4-square work to do, and time is an illusion, remember?” I’m getting a lot of these simple, clear messages lately; I assume it is because I’m feeling slightly out-of-tune with the Cosmic on a more profound level that I am fixing as I go. I REALLY DO have to let the daydreams & fantasies drift away for a while, for as much as I enjoy them they are distracting me from the real work. I ask the Cosmos today to part the veils and let us ALL see the most direct path to our desired goals, and how to walk it.